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Israel 29, Hagel 26, Chuck Hagel 20, Washington 13, Obama 6, United States 6, U.s. 6, America 6, Mcconnell 5, Us 5, Syria 5, Dan 4, Pentagon 4, Ben Carden 3, Brennan 3, Assad 3, Clinton 3, North Korea 3, Vietnam 3, Mitch Mcconnell 2,
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  MSNBC    The Daily Rundown    News/Business. The day's  
   top political stories. New.  

    January 7, 2013
    6:00 - 7:00am PST  

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hagel and he took a pass. in in the past republican nominees have often gotten broad republican backing but despite hagel's 12 years in the senate, he may find republican votes pretty hard to come by. on the sunday shows, republican senators hit hagel and hit him hard. >> he has long severed his ties with the republican party. this is an in your face nomination by the president. >> if hagel is nominated, it is very difficult to imagine a circumstance in which i can support his confirmation. >> a lot of tough questions of senator hagel, but he'll be treated fairly. >> known for his independent streak he became a thorn in the side of senate republicans in 2007 when he turned against the iraq war. >> how are we helping the american military and those individuals we're sending off to fight and die by remaining silet? >> that ultimately among the bigger reasons why he will have
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support among senate republicans. that said, he will face questions about his support for israel after referring to certain pro-israeli groups as a "jewish lobby" in a 2006 interview. >> i'm a united states senator. not an israeli senator. i'm a united states senator. i support israel. but my first interest is i take an oath of office to the constitution of the united states, not to a president, not to a party, not to israel. in 1988 he called james hormelthen president bill clinton's choice "openly aggressively gay." saying his sexual orientation would be an inhibiting factor. hagel has since apologized for that comment last month saying those remarks were insensitive. but outgoing congressman barney frank blasted him last night in a statement, "i cannot think of any other minority group in the u.s. today where such a negative
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statement and action made in 1988 would not be an obstacle to a major presidential appointment." t t the two have remained close since. the president has used that alliance as part of his sales pitch for hagel. >> i've served with chuck hagel, i know him. he is a patriot. >> senator jack reid who was also on that 2008 trip is expected to be, to do much of the leg work in the senate to get hagel's nomination over the finish line. he is going to have to be persuading both. he has a lot of respect in the democratic caucus and the ten soft votes i identified perhaps a little bit more, reid might be able to flip at least half of them. hagel the first vietnam veteran nominated for the post and aides say the president is sticking by hagel because of his desire to have a defense secretary who wore the uniform.
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at the same time who will be comfortable standing up to the generals as he works to shrink the defense department and complete the u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan. the brennan nomination, he has been the chief architect and public defender in the expanded use of drones. with 55 senators in the democratic caucus, the drone policy may get some attention during his confirmation hearing. back in 2008, the president wanted him for the cia spot at the time, but brennan ended up withdrawing his name under pressure from the left after questions about his connection to the enhanced interrogation techniques during the bush administration. white house argues that one of the reasons brennan was chosen this time around is because he has led a process to ban torture. those enhanced interrogation techniques over the past four years and they argue he has worked successfully to take out al qaeda's top leadership, including osama bin laden. very close to the president personally and has been by his
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side for some of the toughest firmte firstterm decisions. this is obama's team. a lot different from gates, from even panetta and from clinton or petraeus. all right, moving on. battle lines are set for a march budget showdown and the leading players appear to be doing their best to establish, i would argue, the low ground. remember, three deadlines coincide two months from now. setting up some form of triple jeopardy, if you will. the treasury department runs out of options to cover u.s. borrowing risking potential default. the whole debt ceiling business. the domestic and defense cuts postpone for two months by the fiscal cliff deal kick in. also known as sequester around these parts. of course, march 27th, the big the continuing resolution that funds the entire government expires. that may be where things truly heat up. mitch mcconnell drew a line in
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the sand saying though republicans are willing to work on tax reform as part of upcoming budget negotiations, new tax revenue is, "absolutely off the table." >> we've resolved the tax issue now. it's over, it's behind us. >> the tax issue is over. >> the tax issue is over, finished, completed. >> that may be mcconnell's view and not the view from the white house or democrats. they say new revenue is needed, mainly by scaling back tax breaks for the welty. >> these loopholes where people can park their money on some island off shore and not pay taxes, these are things that need to be closed. we can do that and use the money to reduce the deficit. >> is that done now? is the revenue side of it taken care of yet? >> no, no. >> if mitch mcconnell is going to draw that line in the sand, it is going to be a recipe for more gridlock. >> meanwhile chatter among republicans calling for a republican shut down is building the two republican in the senate
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it may be necessarily to partially shut down the government to secure the fiscal well being of our country. mcconnell declined to rule it in or out. >> would you rule out a government shut down to achieve your goals? >> what i think we ought to do is encourage the president to actually be president. address the single biggest issues -- >> i understand, but my issue is, would you rule out a government shut down? >> i know what your question is. what i'm telling you, i haven't given up on the president stepping up to the plate. >> and freshman arizona congressman matt salmon who served during the last shut down of the federal government is back after 12 years out of the house said enthuse clast sunday that it's time for another one. >> i believe that that government shut down actually gave us the impetus as we went forward to push towards some real serious compromise. i think it drove bill clinton in a different direction. a very bipartisan direction.
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i think it's about -- >> so different. in an interview with "wall street journal" house boehner e refused to rule out shutting down the government. i need this job like i need a hole in the head. i don't know what part of the job he's talking about. anyway, saying he plans to use the force of sequester and that most defense hawks in the house are behind him. "i got that in my back pocket. republican willingness to support the sequester is as much leverage as we're going to get." this could be a very busy week at the white house on the personnel front if the president plans on changing up the players ahead of fiscal negotiations and maybe do it now and do it this week. white house chief of staff, well, maybe very, very short. current chief of staff jack lew of management and budget is considered to be tim geithner's most likely successor and that's deputy national security adviser
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denis mcdonough. anything could change, but those could be the most likely picks. other members of the administration suggest they're heading for the exits and you would assume the stuff starts ranking up in the next week or so. lisa jackson announced her departure at the end of january and rebecca blank who took over in june after secretary bryson went on medical leave. also expected to leave ray lahood and ken salazar and steven chu. likely with appointments of lew and mcdonough you'll hear more voices demanding more diversity in that cabinet, if you will. how does the president end up solving that problem and create a cabinet that, "looks like america." all right, picking a fight over the president's pentagon pick. one thing the left and the right can agree on. chuck hagel may have an uphill
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battle in the senate. next, we'll get the view from both sides. former romney campaign adviser dan seymour and dan clemens will be here for a debate. first, a look ahead at the president's schedule. at 1:05 today is the official announcement of hagel and brennan. you're watching "daily rundown" on msnbc. i was overweight my whole life. i obsessed about my weight my whole life. and then, weight watchers. i amazed myself. get used to it. introducing the new weight watchers 360 program. join for free and expect amazing. because it works.
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supporters of chuck hagel as defense secretary point to his record of decorated vietnam veteran and a two-term senator.
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but will his rhetoric overshadow his record when it comes to his confirmation. with me now steve clemens, editor at large for "atlantic" and has written things in support of hagel's nomination to the defense department and dan seymour and foreign policy adviser. gentlemen, welcome to you both. i couldn't think of two better people to do this and you both agreed. so, thank you. dan, i want to start with you, but i want to lay out this issue on israel and iran and i want to put up, we put together a few charts. sort of fuel for supporters and opponents when it comes to hagel and iran and israel. voted against iran/libya sanks in 2001 and blocked sanctions bills in 2008. he was in support of key nonproliferation bills having to do with sanctioning iran on nuclear weapons. as for israel, he didn't sign
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some letters of support of israel in the past. anti-hamas bill and voted for aid for israel as a senator. dan, why would you look at this record and say it's decidedly mixed for somebody who want somebody in there who wants nothing but always on the side of whatever israel wants the united states to do, he certainly is not a full fledged opponent of israel, is he not? >> first of all, an american hero and even those of us opposed to his nomination salute him for his to this country. some of the votes take the ir iran/libya sanctions act in 2 1 2001. he was not just against it. 96 senators voted for it, two
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did not. designating the iranian revolutionary guard. the american jewish committee went to the u.s. senate and asked every senator to sign this letter that would be published in a full-page ad in the "new york times." it wasn't divided. 99 senators called to deal with anti-semitism in russia. the only senator that didn't sign it was chuck hagel. there is a consensus in washington. this is not partisan. it is a bipartisan consensus in washington. it transcends party lines. it's a broad consensus. chuck hagel has consistently been outside the census. he just needs to explain why it is. it just can't be tapered over. he may have legitimate reasons, but can't pretend he wasn't outside it. >> basic argument dan is making outside the main stream when it comes to israel. >> chuck hagel more than anyone else i know has indicated over and over a real support for israel and i think when dan
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mentions this particular letter about jews in russia, this is a case where there is a letter of record, shared that with prominent israeli national security officials. i interviewed the former chief of naval operations just a few nights ago about exactly this case. this gentleman was surprised that hagel didn't sign this letter. he doesn't band wagon his views. he is not a press puffery kind of guy. he thinks about what is effcasus in national security and foreign policy. the most important thing about hagel and with all due respect to dan and some of his colleagues, there seems to be this effort by israel and its supporters over and over to continue to run resolution to say, how much do you love me america? do you love me today? do you love me again? i think what hagel has done, i am supportive of israel, but at the same time, not create a zero sum game between israel and its
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numbers that also have vital security relationships with the united states. >> chuck, can i respond? >> very important point he raises. on that point, signing a letter versus voting for aid are two different things. >> sure, but, chuck, when senators vote to designate the iranian revolutionary guard corps, a terrorist organization. what the senators cite is not just the threat that iran poses to israel, but what they pose to america. when they call on the eu to designate hezbollah terrorist organization. they cite the damage that hezbollah has done to american military men and women and american security interests and for steve to just, you know, like sweep this away is, this is just israel and israel supporters wanting a bunch of love letters is really, i'd say, actually, offensive. if you look -- why is ben carden. senior democrat in a democratic conference. he came out today. so, this is a senior democrat
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knowing that the president of his party is about to nominate chuck hagel for secretary of defense and ben carden is raising serious questions. yet, another democrat to raise questions. what is giving them pause? i don't think it's as simple as steve just dismissed it. these love letters or disagreement over some love letters to israel. real national security issues at stake. senator hagel was opposed to sanctions against syria. one of a handful of sanctions -- >> i want to get steve to respond to you on that. i want to throw in this issue. what is a bigger issue for chuck hagel among democrats? some of these issues involving israel on iran. he brought up ben carden, we know that there's some question frank lautenberg, chuck schumer, democrats like that. but there's also been what he said about james hormelback in 1998. i know you have done am some extensive conversations with chuck hagel about anti-gay
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thing. barney frank was very offended by this. just this week said i cannot think of any other minority group in the u.s. today where such a negative statement would not be an obstacle to a major presidential. >> he has apologized for the statement and hormel in a very large statement, a gracious statement accepted it and said, this is really important learning moment. and i stand by that. i think people in the human rights campaign, the victory fund, other significant gay right organizations have actually said they look forward to having -- i went to a victory fund gala the other night and hagel told me, next year, i'll be there. he doesn't have these issues, but he'll explain these in the committee. to dan's bigger point and, dan, i want to make sure, i didn't mean by know sense any offense on these issues and i think israel's security is vital and
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important. but on the broader issue of iran and syria, i would only say, you know, as a strategist to a strategist foreign policy people in this field, legitimate differences of view on what the terms of engagement is and how do you get a nation like moammar gadhafi to give up a nuclear weapons program? how do you move syria before we knew what the arab spring might do. so, i would say those calculations are some of the things that hagel is willing to buck a band wagon effect for. >> i have a final question that is separate for both of you. if you could respond directly to the question. dan, it has to do with the issue of somebody at the defense department really is, it's, it's less of a national security job sometimes than we realize that state is more of a policy job. the white house sets policy. are you comforted at all that it's the white house that sets policy when it comes to israel and iran and not the defense department? >> no question on the big policy issues that the white house sets policy and i'm not suggesting for a moment, really, that like chuck hagel is going to be this
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rogue defense secretary that is going to, you know, oppose the implementation of the broad, strategic agenda of the administration. but having worked for a controversial defense department, a defense secretary, i will tell you that there are hundreds of decisions that a defense secretary makes every day that never reach the desk of the president and they have direct impact on the very issues we're talking about. iran, syria, hamas, et cetera. and the defense secretary to make those decisions. chuck hagel, if he's defense secretary, will have that power. that's why asking legitimate questions about his voting record, which is consistently outside the main stream is fair. that's why so many senate democrats you see right now are pausing and withholding their support. >> steve, final question. one reason why the president wants chuck hagel, we'll be through a period of downsizing the pentagon and you need a period and he thinks having a former senator there to convince senators to do this is the way to go. >> former congress.
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>> but if this is a painful confirmation process, which it appears it can be. how does a wounded defense secretary chuck hagel then go back to the hill and have the gra grauvitous. >> i have great respect for leon panetta, but he would only talk about numbers and budgets and the sense that as we spend less on defense, america will have less security. what hagel is going to have to do, his job is going to have to go into congress whether he's wounded, not wounded and do much better than people think and i think that he's going to go in and basically have to sell the fact that despite the cuts that are coming, despite the depression that the defense contractors are going to go through, america is not going to forfeit its security or place in the world and by applying intelligence, by applying synergies and being smart, we'll have those that are in the past. >> thank you for coming in for a high minded discussion and
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debate. thank you, both. up next, a newly defiant syrian president grades secretary clinton on her first day back at work. all the talk of cutting the deficit. still business as usual in washington? a deep dive into the intersection between capitol hill and k street and that tax deal that just passed. how many men have served as secretary of defense under more than one president? first correct answer will get a follow monday from us. [ ship horn blows ] no, no, no! stop! humans. one day we're coming up with the theory of relativity, the next... not so much. but that's okay -- you're covered with great ideas like optional better car replacement from liberty mutual insurance.
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en our radar this morning, hillary clinton is back and bill richardson is back in north korea. but, first, secretary of state
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hillary clinton is back at the state department for the first time in a month. clinton was scheduled to meet with her top deputies at 9:15 this morning and deputy was hospitalized for treatment of a blood clot in her head following a concussion. she is expected to remain on the job until john kerry's expected confirmation to succeed her. despite criticism from the state department, former new mexico governor, bill richardson and google ceo eric schmidt arrived in north korea this morning. a former u.n. ambassador said he's on a private humanitarian mission not representing the united states government. he plans to ask about kenneth bay who has been detained by north korea. in the middle east, a rare public speech by syria's embattled president al assad made it clear that he has no plans to step down as the country's leader. he offered a peace plan but rolled out any talks with the armed opposition and said they will not negotiate until regional countries stop fighting. assad must step down.
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the state department called assad's initiative "detached" from reality in an attempt to cling to power. venezuela's leader hugo chavez is still in cuba following a cancer operation last month. chavez is set to be inaugurated for a fourth presidential term on thursday. it may be postponed if not returned in time. his absense would create a constitutional crisis, possibly leading to an interim government and another election. coming up next, why the bill to avert the first round of the fiscal cliff was stuck with billions, that's right, billions with a "b" of corporate tax gives aways from wall street to hollywood and nascar and you're watching "daily rundown" only on msnbc. first 20 came off, well it wasn't too hard at all." i love breads. you can still eat bread. i love my sweets. i can still have a cookie on weight watchers. i love the barcode scanner.
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this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. maybe you want to incorporate a business. or protect your family with a will or living trust. and you'd like the help of an attorney. at legalzoom a legal plan attorney is available in most states with every personalized document to answer questions. get started at legalzoom.com today. and now you're protected. today we take a deep dive into some of the details of the
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fiscal cliff deal. a package billed for the middle class that also ended up preserving billions in tax breaks for everyone from wall street banks and nascar millionaires to puerto rico rum makers. all told, nearly $68 billion worth of tax breaks for special interest groups this year alone and that number could rise significantly in the years to come. the joint committee on taxation laid out a list of corporate tax gives aways in this bill. a two-year extension as bonus depreciation and it allows big businesses to deduct the costs of big businesses and cost $50 billion through 2014. an $11 billion break for corporations on income they earn from overseas subsidiaries. something as active financing. $430 million in tax breaks for hollywood producers who shoot their movies and tv shows in the united states. rum producers in puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands get a break to the tune of $222 million. the corporate tax give away for
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race track owners amount to $72 million over the next two years. tax relief for indian coal fa l facili facilities, makers of electric vehicles and companies that do business in america samoa. three times as many tax extenders as there are for individuals. tax goodies say it's unfortunate that even in tough times washington reverts to business as usual. >> to use vehicles that are must pass, which are the lobbyists ticket onboard the gravy train is a sad and cynical commentary on the way washington does business. >> what people don't realize, the well connected, well healed in this country take the advantage of all the deductions and all the give aways and the tax cut. >> so, how do those well connected folks get these tax breaks? they turn to people who know capitol hill because they work there.
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former lawmakers who ended up on k street. here's a break down, courtesy of nbc's national investigative correspondent michael isikoff. among those who lobbied for the tax break, former republican senator trent lott and john breaux were paid $1.5 million. we should mention that msnbc is partially owned by ge. steve elmendorf was paid $350,000 from the wind energy association. but possibly the biggest player here was capital tax partners whose website offers clients and intimate knowledge of the tax writing process. it includes a team full of tax experts and advisors that work both on capitol hill and on the white house. capital one and goldman sachs were among the big banks that paid the firm, $2.2 million to get the financing break.
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verizon and time warner cable paid another $700,000 to keep the appreciation tax low. the motion picture association paid nearly $500,000 to secure tax breaks for movie producers. part of a measure that passed through the finance committee. back in august it went no where for months until it was tackeden to the fiscal cliff bill at the last minute. michael isikoff looking at how that happened. here he is now. mr. isikoff, so, i look at all your reporting on this and i think this is why tax reform can't ever get done. in a way that will make the country, in this day in age, when we expect transparency isn't going to happen. >> what is particularly striking about this, all the talk about tax reform which was sort of everybody's answer to where we're going to come and then you look at what happened in the last hours with all these business tax extenders being put in and taken lock, stock and barrel from the tax committee and a giant step backward from tax reform. they just ratified and
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reextended all these special interest tax breaks that everybody says, in theory -- >> everybody was against these in theory. democrats and republicans. you've heard we had two republicans here, but they weren't the only ones. even the establishment republican crowd. >> exactly. you know what is striking. in all our coverage of the fiscal cliff drama and negotiations, we weren't talking about this. nobody publicly -- >> did they know it was going to get tacked on? >> the people who were putting it together absolutely knew. in fact, there were all those last-minute furious negotiations between biden's office and mcconnell. mcconnell's people said biden's told mcconnell we need them all. you can't take some of them out because you start to take some of them out, you start to lose senators. there was the massive push to get this deal through. >> i heard about these things. they were looking for pay fors as they call them. this was on the tax, on sequester when they were trying to buy it down. and i heard about various
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individual calls. you either mcconnell would call a republican senator, if i do this, would you be okay with it? veto power over some of these things. >> exactly. so, while the ball was kind of hidden from the public and, you know, we dropped the ball, too, and not keeping an eye on this. all those lobbyists, all those washington lobbyists who pay those enormous fees absolutely knew what was going on. >> this is the way it works. you know, some people say, hey, you're demonizing lobbyists. that's their job. that's what they're being paid to do. that's the way this town works. a while until it changes. >> although, remember, all the talk from the obama in 2008 and afterwards about he's going to change the culture of washington, this was the culture of washington playing out, old school and it worked. it worked for all those people. just one more thing. you have the rainmakers and then you have the firm capital tax partners. nobody you and i know but they were the tax writers for the
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finance committee, the tax writers for ways and means. those are the guys you go to to make things happen. >> because they know how to write the legislation. president obama on offense for defense. our gaggle will break down the hagual pick and new word on what the white house is planning to do about gun violence. but, first, white house soup of the day. a good pick for the first big monday back to work. turkey lentil. will any of the nominations be a turkey? run down msnbc.com. the debate between seymour and clemens. she knows you like no one else. and you wouldn't have it any other way. but your erectile dysfunction - you know, that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready.
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president obama's decision to nominate former republican
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senator chuck hagel as secretary of defense has raised eyebrows everywhere. both sides of the aisle, all different special interest groups. one of those classic washington stories, potentially. as many as ten democrats could end up opposing the nomination. key republicans are giving their former colleague the cold shoulder. but is their opposition more israel or iraq? what is it? let's bring in former rnc chairman michael steele and press secretary for president obama's re-election campaign. jen, let me start with you. a piece this morning that said, chuck hagel's biggest problem sort of facing him potentially on capitol hill is that, you know, he is obama. that this is sort of -- he fits obama more than anything. so, this is almost implying that the people against him are proxy fighting. this is about a proxy of all the things that they have been upset with obama on they're going to take out. >> probably some element of
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truth in that in terms of the politics around it. however, he is a republican who served for decades in the senate who was on the intelligence committee, who was on the foreign relations committee, who is a decorated vietnam war hero. are republicans really, i know a lot of vocal outranl, but are they going to vote against a war hero who is a republican, former republican senator? that's the question. >> well, michael steele, the republican in here. but hagel is getting hit for things that you would get hit on. he is one of these guys. >> speaks his mind. >> speaks his mind, sometimes ineloquently, some would argue. sometimes in ways that offended some people. he has tried to take those back and tried to apologize for them. should he be given the benefit of the doubt? >> i think we need to stop playing the washington game, which we always do. as soon as the president starts to float a name, everyone starts to pile on one way or another. the president will have a chance to put his name officially in the nomination and he will go through that process sitting down with the senators, his
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former colleagues and having a conversation. and then have him explain those things that people are concerned about. you cannot get to the answer until he answers the question. let him answer the questions that people have and then go from there and judge it. at the end of the day, you may have ten democrats who may be on the fence, certainly republicans against him. this nomination gets done, period. >> the politics of this can revolve around pro-israeli groups this morning. apac doesn't take a position. whether they work behind the scenes is another front. those ten soft democrats i know about would have been hard. >> it was interesting national democratic jewish collation came out this morning a with statement we're happy with some of the things hagel said about israel. >> the most pro-obama of the jewish groups. >> this is the real heart of the
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confirmation fight. he apologize for about the gay appointee. i think it's going to be an argument about israel. this is really where the heart of the matter is. >> jen, answer this criticism. i heard this from the left. why is it obama now had three shots at the pentagon and twice he turned to a republican. this is just playing into the stereotype that democrats can't handle the military? >> i think that's an entirely separate issue he chose chuck hagel because he likes him personally, which is important to the president. and because he has the right combination of toughness and experience. you know, he's a guy, they have to make tough cuts at the pentagon. he is the guy i think the president who thinks can do that. >> three of the last four defense secretaries appointed by democrats have been republican. what does that say about what democratic presidents believe -- >> he does want to have a republican in his cabinet, no question about that. this is a person who he felt was a right fit. that is a benefit he is a republican. if there was a great democrat,
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michelle, she was out there, she would have been a great choice, too. but, look, he was the right person for the job, end of story. the president thought he was. >> i was going to say, only nixon can go to china and the president's thinking only a republican can go into the defense department and make the cuts that need to be made over the next couple of years. i think that's part of the rationale. >> i think, absolutely, my understanding that that is amongst the biggest pressure. . the question i have, if hagel gets confirmed but it's tough and he comes out a wounded defense secretary politically. does that then, when he goes back to the hill to go make these arguments, does it make it harder? >> it does make it harder. the timing for this couldn't be more inconvenient. congress kicked the can down the road for another two months. so, starting march 2nd the suquesteration cuts. we asked how many men have served as secretary of defense
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under more than one president? the answer, it's four. robert mcnamara served in kennedy and james schlesinger and robert gates and donald rumsful. the youngest defense secretary for ford in the '70s. you've got a political trivia question for us, e-mail us at dailyrundown@msnbc.com. we'll be right back. i've always kept my eye on her... but with so much health care noise, i didn't always watch out for myself. with unitedhealthcare, i get personalized information and rewards for addressing my health risks. but she's still going to give me a heart attack. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
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you need to put everything on the table. but what i hear from the administration and if "the washington post" is to be believed, that's way, way in extreme of what i think is necessary or even should be talked about. >> i don't think the federal
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government has any business having a list of law-abiding citizens who choose to exercise their right to keep and bear arms. >> that was reaction from some of the newest senators to a "washington post" report that a group led by vice president joe biden is considering measures that would require universal background checks, weapon sales, tracking, expanded mental health checks and more penalties for car rrying guns near schools. let's bring back the gaggle. the person that used the word "extreme" there was new democratic senator from a rural state. the state of north dakota there. when talking about what she read in the "washington post" about guns. and therein lies the issue of why gun legislation on capitol hill's future is very grim. is it not? >> right. forget the house for a second which is obviously controlled by republicans. if you look at the senate alone, it's the conservative democrats, people like joe manchin. >> from the rural states. >> exactly. joe donnelly. heidi heitkamp from north dakota.
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those are people that need convincing they can make the leap on gun control measures if they're willing. >> it's a tricky issue for the white house. on one hand you have some on the left who sit there and say the white house has been lacking any sort of spine when it comes to gun issue. there's the political reality staring them in the face. heidi heitkamp. >> i would add two other challenges for the white house. one is the timeline. already people aren't paying attention to this as much as they were in december. the media coverage is dwindling, of course. the second is, you have a lot of well meaning groups on the democratic side who are running in many different directions. and the nra is a formidable opponent. >> it's interesting. that's a very important key here. you know, michael bloomberg sort of doing this. you have a group with ties to move on to doing that. white house during their thing. the nra sticking to plan. >> absolutely. of all the groups the only one that's really been able to galvanize their base of support is the nra. everyone else seems to be fractured and in pockets. the more that those voices out
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there can gal vanize the people behind some movement that supports the ultimate gain -- >> i hear you. don't underestimate the newtown families. >> i agree. >> 9/11 victims' families were powerful political force. >> i agree. >> newtown families could become a very powerful force. shameless plug time. shira. >> my northwestern wildcats for winning their first bowl game in 64 years. >> if it wasn't for northwestern the big 10 -- >> i never thought anyone would say that sentence. >> how about that? >> i'm shameless plugging my husband's grandma is -- her birthday is coming up this weekend. she is an msnbc watcher. hello. >> she's probably watching right now. >> she probably is. >> hi, grandma. >> shamelessly plugging my washington redskins. i want to thank them for the thrill of a lifetime. >> will there be tumult for the
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good morning. i'm chris jansing. the president is back in washington. it looks like his first order of business is making a couple of cabinet appointments. we know that he will nominate chuck hagan for secretary of defense this afternoon. that's going to come at 1:05 eastern. also part of that announcement, nominating john brennan as cia director. it's the hagel pick that has been scrutinized. >> he has long severed his ties with the republican party. this is an in your face nomination by the president to all of us who are supportive of israel. >> hagel's record is very, very troubling on the nation of israel. he has not been a friend to
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israel. in my view the united states should stand unshakably with the nation of israel. and he has consistently advocated weakness with respect to our enemy. >> i think it would be a lot of tough questions of senator hagel. but he'll be treated fairly by republicans in the senate. >> i want to bring in matt welch, editor in chief for reason magazine and perry bacon, political editor for thegrio.com. president obama nominated john kerry for secretary of state before christmas. now he's running out his national security team, chuck hagel, john brennan. the president essentially walked away from susan rice. why does he want this fight? >> it's a great political idea on his behalf. if there's a big fight over this defense pick, it's going to be between republicans. right? republicans are in disarray on a number of issues. speaker boehner just survived a confidence vote that was a little bit dicier than we originally thought. there's a disagreeance on
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spending and a bunch of other issues. there's disagreements on defense. there's some new republicans who say, hey, we've got to stop this kind of knee network promilitary, pro interventionism out there. those people really like chuck hagel. there's other republicans who really hate chuck hagel. let this fight be between republicans i'm thinking is what barack obama is looking at. >> chuck hagel has managed to make people e iing jewish group rights groups. as he put it, i'm a united states senator. i'm not an israeli senator. he called a nominee for ambassador openly aggressively gay. he did apologize for that. that happened some time ago. and said he misspoke. but, perry, what do you think? how tough could this fight get? >> it's looking tough right now. you have some democrats who don't like the comments about gay rights and about israel. you have republicans who don't like his opposition to the iraq wars. you have people on both sides. you don't